Dry mouth is annoying and sometimes painful. It can make your lips and throat uncomfortably dry and leave you with bad breath. As if that isn’t bad enough, dry mouth is hard on your dental health.
There’s a clear connection between dry mouth and cavities. Your saliva not only keeps your mouth moist, it helps wash away food debris and bacteria. So it’s a great cavity fighter! if you’ve got a shortage of it, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’ve got dry mouth, talk to Dr. Rick Barfield about lifestyle changes you can make that will relieve symptoms and make you less susceptible to cavities. He can also suggest products to help replenish your saliva.
Because of the relationship between dry mouth and cavities, he may also suggest applications of fluoride the next time you’re in our Plano, TX dental office, and/or he may prescribe an extra-strength fluoride treatment for you to use at home. We also offer dental sealants to help prevent decay, especially in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth like back teeth.
Call 1st in Smiles at 972-905-9266 to schedule your next dental appointment. If you’re worried about dry mouth and cavities, ask about these treatments.
Dry Mouth Gets Worse in Summer
If you’ve noticed your dry mouth seems worse in summer, you’re right! Dry mouth is more common in summer because:
- You perspire more, so your body produces less saliva
- If you swim to cool off, both chlorine in pools and salt water at the beach dry out your mouth
- You breathe through your mouth if you’ve got allergies, which aggravates dry mouth symptoms
This is an especially big problem, because some of your summer habits likely make you more susceptible to cavities too. Popular summer beverages like lemonade, sweet tea, and soda can erode tooth enamel, making it easier for decay to cause cavities. If you’re like most people, you’ll also eat out more and indulge in more sugary foods in summer months.
Drink More Water to Fight Dry Mouth and Cavities
Fortunately, one of the best ways to fight dry mouth and cavities too is also one of the easiest: drink more water. Saliva is 99 percent water, so drinking water really helps replenish it. We recommend drinking at least two liters of water a day in summer, more if you participate in sports or other physical activities.
We know two liters seems like a lot. But there are lots of ways to increase your water intake. Try these six suggestions:
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not all of your water needs to come in a glass. Stay hydrated by eating summer fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. Watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers are in season now, so they’re especially affordable.
- Dilute summer drinks. You don’t have to go completely give up drinks like soda, lemonade, or iced tea. You can dilute them with lots of ice and/or some added water to make them a healthier choice.
- Make your water more flavorful. Fresh fruit, slices of vegetable, and/or fresh herbs can be used to give your water added flavor.
- Keep water in mind by keeping it in sight. You’ll likely drink more water if you keep a bottle or other container of it in areas where you spend a lot of time.
- Drink water with meals. Whether you’re at a restaurant or at home, drink water before you eat. This not only fights dry mouth, it can help you lose weight too. You’ll feel full sooner, so will eat less.
- Get reminders from your phone. If you check your phone often throughout the day, use apps like Daily Water Free (Apple Store) or Carbodroid (Google Play). You’ll get alerts and reminders to drink more water.
If you’re drinking more water, still suffer from dry mouth, and are worried about dry mouth and cavities, ask Dr. Barfield about it at your next appointment. Call 1st in Smiles at 972-905-9266.